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catastrophe. Facts of a similar description are recorded as having resulted from other earthquakes, such as that of Riobamba, where also several lawsuits were brought in the courts respecting the possession of pieces of ground, which had exchanged their positions. But Humboldt has recorded a still more extraordinary fact. When he was surveying the ruins of the destroyed town of Riobamba for the purpose of making a map, he was shown the place where the whole furniture of one house was found buried beneath the ruins of another. The upper layer of the soil, formed of matter not possessing a great degree of coherency, had moved like water in running streams; and we are compelled to suppose that these streams flowed first downwards, then proceeded horizontally, and at last rose upwards. The motion in the shocks which were experienced in Jamaica, 1692, must have been not less complicated. According to the account of an eye witness, the whole surface of the ground had assumed the appearance of running water. The sea and the land appeared to rush on one another, and to mingle in the wildest confusion. Some persons, who, at the beginning of the calamity, had escaped into the streets, and to the squares of the town, to avoid the danger of being crushed under the ruins of the falling houses, were so violently tossed from one side to the other, that many of them received severe contusions, and some were maimed. Others were lifted up, hurled through the air, and thrown down at a distance from the place where they had been standing. A few who were in the town were carried away to the harbor, which was rather distant, and there thrown into the sea, by which accident, however, their lives were saved.

The Terrible Earthquake of Lisbon.

The earthquake of Lisbon happened on the 1st of November, 1755. The day broke with a serene sky and a fine breeze from the east. About nine o'clock in the morning the sun began to grow dim, and about half an hour later a rumbling noise was heard, which proceeded from under ground, and resembled that made by heavy carts passing over a distant ground covered with pebbles. This subterraneous noise increased gradually, but quickly, so that after a few seconds it resembled the firing of cannons of heavy calibre. In this moment the first shock was felt. Before its violent concussions the foundations of many large buildings, especially the palace of the Inquisition and several churches gave way, and the whole of these edifices were levelled to the ground. After a short pause, perhaps of not more than a minute's duration, three other shocks followed in quick succession, by which nearly all the other, larger buildings, palaces, churches, convents, public offices, and houses

were thrown down. All these shocks occurred in a space of less than five minutes.

At the time the first shock was felt in the city, some persons were in a boat on the Tagus River, about three miles distant from the capital. They were astonished at hearing the boat making a noise, as if it were running aground, as they knew it was in deep water. In the same moment they observed on both banks of the river that the buildings were tumbling down. About four minutes later a similar noise was


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heard under the boats, and other buildings were seen falling to the ground. During this time a strange commotion was observed in the water of the river. It appears that at some places the bottom of the river was raised to the level of the water. Many vessels were lying in the harbor opposite the town. Some of them were torn from their anchors and dashed against each other with great violence; in others the sailors did not know whether their vessels were afloat or aground.

The minds of the inhabitants had not yet had time to recover from the terror caused by this terrible and quite unexpected catastrophe, when they were again plunged into dismay by a phenomenon of a different description, but hardly less terrible and destructive. About half an hour after the most severe shocks had ceased, the sea rushed suddenly with incredible velocity into the river. Although the water had been ebbing for two hours, and the wind blew fresh from the east, the sca at the mouth of the Tagus rose instantaneously about forty feet above high water mark. It would certainly have laid more than half the town under water, and completed the work of destruction, had not the large bay, which the river forms opposite the capital of Portugal, permitted this enormous volume of water to spread itself over a surface of many square miles. But even this favorable circumstance did not entirely exempt the city from the effects of an inundation. The sea entered the lower streets, and a large stone-built quay. which had been probably detached from its foundations by the earthquake, and on which about three thousand people had taken refuge, was suddenly hurled bottom upward, and every soul was lost. As quickly as the water had filled the river, so quickly did it retreat to the sea. The high wave, however, returned three or four times before the water attained its usual level, but every time with a diminished force and a less volume of water.

Frightful Loss of Life.

It is stated that, by the effects of the earthquake and of the inundation, not less than sixty thousand persons perished. The larger number, it appears, were crushed by the ruins of the falling churches. For as it was a holiday, a great number of persons were at their devotions in the churches and convents, which, being very substantial edifices built of stone, suffered much more than the houses of private persons, and were reduced to heaps of ruins by the first shock. Towards evening a smart shock was felt; it was strong enough to split the walls of several houses which had still kept their position. The rents caused by this shock in the walls of these houses were more than half a foot wide; but as soon as the shock had passed away, they closed again, and so firmly that it was impossible to find a trace of them.

In addition to the horrors occasioned by the shocks of the earthquake and the inroads of the sea, the devoted inhabitants were exposed to the ravages of fire. An English merchant residing in Lisbon, who escaped, and published an account of the calamity, says: As soon as it grew dark another scene presented itself, little less shocking than those already described the whole city appeared in a blaze, which was so bright that I

could easily see to read by it. It may be said without exaggeration, it was on fire in a hundred different places at once, and thus continued burning for six days together, without intermission, or the least attempt being made to stop its progress. It went on consuming everything the earthquake had spared, and the people were so dejected and terrified, that few or none had courage enough to venture down to save any part of their substance; every one had his eyes turned towards the flames, and stood looking on with silent grief, which was only interrupted by the cries and shrieks of women and children calling on the saints and angels for succor, whenever the earth began to tremble, which was so often this night, and indeed I may say ever since, that the tremors, more or less, did not cease for a quarter of an hour together. I could never learn that this terrible fire was owing to any subterraneous eruption, as some reported. Horror Added to Horror.

The 1st of November being All Saints Day, a high festival among the Portuguese, every altar in every church and chapel (some of which have more than twenty) was illuminated with a number of wax tapers and lamps, as customary; these setting fire to the curtains and timber work that fell with the shock, the conflagration soon spread to the neighboring houses, and being there joined with the fires in the kitchen chimneys, increased to such a degree that it might easily have destroyed the whole city, though no other cause had occurred, especially as it met with no interruption. The nobility, gentry, and clergy, who were assisting at divine service when the earthquake began, fled away with the utmost precipitation, every one where his fears carried him, leaving the splendid apparatus of the numerous altars to the mercy of the first comer; but this did not so much affect me as the distress of the poor animals, which seemed sensible of their hard fate; some few were killed, others wounded, but the greater part, which had received no hurt, were left there to starve.

From the square the way led to my friend's lodgings, through a long, steep, and narrow street; the new scenes of horror I met with here exceed all description; nothing could be heard but sighs and groans. I did not meet with a soul in the passage who was not bewailing the death of his nearest relations and dearest friends, or the loss of all his substance; I could hardly take a single step without treading on the dead or the dying; in some places lay coaches, with their masters, horses, and riders, almost crushed in pieces; here mothers with their infants in their arms; there ladies richly dressed, priests, friars, gentlemen, merchants, either in the same condition or just expiring; some had their backs or thighs broken, others vast stones on their breasts; some lay almost buried in

the rubbish, and crying out in vain to the passengers for succor, were left to perish with the rest.

In Asia, Africa, Europe and South America, as we have seen, earthquakes have levelled whole cities and numbered their victims by tens, and in some instances hundreds, of thousands. In Judea, at the time of the battle of Actium, 31 B.C., an earthquake killed ten thousand people. Antioch has been visited by several of still greater magnitude, one of which, 526 A.D., is said by Gibbon to have slain two hundred and fifty thousand persons; and the same city was visited about sixty years later by another that made thirty thousand corpses. The earthquake, with volcanic eruption of Vesuvius, that wiped out Herculaneum and Pompeii in the year 63, need only to be mentioned. In more modern times earthquakes have slain one hundred thousand at Calabria, Sicily, in 1783; and twelve thousand in the Argentine Republic in 1861. These are only a few of the great calamities of this kind that history records.

More Recent Convulsions.

No earthquake has visited the territory of the United States within the historical period which can be compared in extent or energy to the convulsion in August, 1886, that was felt from the Mississippi to the Atlantic, and which wrought such terrible disaster in Charleston, yet shocks similar in character but less in degree are of constant occurrence. Observations show that on the Atlantic slope there is on an average one disturbance of this kind every month. These, however, as compared with the calamities which have desolated other parts of the world are very small and insignificant. In the Charleston disaster ninety-six persons lost their lives, a very insignificant number compared with the destruction, graphic accounts of which come to us from other quarters of the globe. In the early part of 1887 a frightful earthquake in the southern part of Europe destroyed more than 2000 lives, and spread desolation and suffering over a wide territory. Neither cholera nor any other pestilence has more reason to be dreaded than one of those terrible convulsions which demolish the most massive buildings, wreck the fairest cities, and in an instant hurry multitudes of human beings out of the world.

One of the most destructive earthquakes of modern times was that which, in the Island of Java in 1884, destroyed thirty thousand lives, and engulfed a range of mountains forty miles in length, leaving no trace of the line along which it extended. Immense clouds of dust extended even to the opposite hemisphere. The whole civilized world had its attention. awakened by this extraordinary convulsion. It literally buried mountains as we bury the dead.

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